Operation Backlog Completion 2024
Apr 122024

Obscure video game revivals seem more common than ever these days, and the latest is an old RPG series called Tenshi no Uta.

I’d never heard of this series before, so I looked into it after seeing the reports that it might be making a return.

Developed by Telenet Japan, Tenshi no Uta came out in 1991 for the PC-Engine Super CD-ROM² (aka TurboGrafx-16 Super CD-ROM²). It received a sequel in 1993 for the same platform, and a third entry in the series came out for the Super Famicom in 1994.

None of these games ever released outside of Japan, although the third game got a fan translation in 2018.

From what I was able to read about them online, it sounds like the series is about conflicts between angels and demons, as well as Celtic mythology.

According to Wikipedia, the developers of the first two games left in 1993 to form Media.Vision, who then went on to make Wild Arms, while some of the developers who worked on the third game eventually formed the original Tales studio. If that’s true, I’m even more interested than I was already.

So, what’s this about a revival? Although Telenet Japan went bankrupt in 2007, the publisher Edia acquired the rights to their games in 2020 and has already revived some of them. Most recently, their Telenet Revive Twitter account tweeted that a new project is coming, with Tenshi no Uta art and a link to a new website.

Right now it’s not clear if this will be a collection or a new game in the series. Either way, I hope it will be available in English, because I’m really intrigued by this now!

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Apr 102024

The other day, I was browsing Twitter when I saw a tweet about an upcoming 3D indie RPG called Runa.

I see games being advertised all the time, but this one struck me because of how beautiful it was, so I decided to take a closer look.

Runa is a turn-based RPG inspired by JRPGs. According to its Steam page, it will feature social links with over 15 romance options, elemental puzzles, base building, and mini-games (of which they specifically mention farming, fishing, and cooking).

The page also lists a weather system, a day/night cycle, a calendar system, and dialogue choices, although despite the dialogue choices, the main character is a full character in his own right rather than a silent protagonist.

I don’t back as many video game Kickstarters as I used to (mainly due to the oppressive shadow of my backlog), but this is one I don’t want to miss. The Kickstarter campaign will launch on April 16, and I’ll definitely be checking it out. It looks pretty ambitious, so I hope the team can back that up.

What do you think of Runa?

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Apr 032024

Back when I played the Final Fantasy VII Remake, I quite enjoyed it, so I was disappointed when the DLC released in 2021 was PS5-exclusive.

Since I didn’t have a PS5 until late last year, it’s taken me a while to get around to it.

But after finishing Crisis Core a few weeks ago, I decided the other thing to do before moving on to Final Fantasy VII Rebirth was to finally get the DLC.

Final Fantasy VII Remake: Episode Intermission is a new story starring Yuffie, in which she heads to Midgar in order to steal materia from Shinra.

Joining her is a young man from Wutai named Sonon, and they team up with members of Avalanche (the larger group, not our primary Avalanche characters from the main game) to get the information they need.

Although Sonon joins you in battles, you only play directly as Yuffie, although you can issue commands to Sonon to have him use abilities or magic. Yuffie’s combat style took a little bit for me to get used to, with sort of a mixed melee/ranged approach, but eventually I enjoyed it. The combat system itself is similar to that in Remake, but with a new “synergy” feature that lets both characters attack together.

There are a handful of side quests, as well as a new mini-game called Fort Condor that I tried a handful of times and then vowed to never touch again. Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure there are people who love Fort Condor. It’s not the mini-game’s fault. But it’s real-time strategy, and that’s a genre I’m rarely able to enjoy.

So that was a whole aspect of the DLC I ignored, but I still managed to play for nearly 8 hours. My time would probably be a lot longer if I’d gotten into Fort Condor, so there’s a respectable amount of content here for the DLC’s $20 asking price.

The story is fine. While it doesn’t cover a whole lot, it was a nice look at Yuffie’s character and gave a lot more screentime to Scarlet as the DLC’s main villain.

Click for FFVII Intermission spoilers
It also gave a good role to Nero, from Dirge of Cerberus. Although he didn’t have much in the way of story content here, he was a tough and seriously intimidating final boss. My memories of Dirge are kind of fuzzy, but I didn’t expect Nero to come across like he wandered in from a horror game. I enjoyed his creepy portrayal here.

Meanwhile, the most interesting part of the DLC’s story was the very last scene, which showed Zack, seemingly alive. That scene made me lean more toward the multiple timelines theory, but I’m curious to see where Rebirth takes it.

Overall, playing Intermission reminded me of how much I enjoy Final Fantasy VII and its remake. Now that I’ve completed it, I’m more excited than ever about diving into Rebirth!

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